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What is CLR?

CLR stands for cultural and linguistic responsiveness (Hollie, 2017), and it builds on the theory of Culturally Relevant Teaching and Culturally Responsive Pedagogy put forth by Ladson-Billings (1994) and Gay (2000). To be culturally and linguistically responsive means going to where the students are culturally and linguistically first, then leading them where they need to be academically and socially for success.  The frame of CLR is based on four words: validate, affirm, build and bridge or VABB for short.  VABBing requires legitimatizing the cultural and linguistic behaviors that have been delegitimatized by historic institutional hegemony and providing a counter narrative to the negative, stereotyped portrayal in corporate media. Culturally responsive educators "VABB" by how they talk to, relate to, and teach students differently. Part of VABBing includes providing students texts that are authentically reflective of who they are culturally and linguistically. Dr. Hollie says that VABBing is the "soul" of CLR, and in order to prepare marginalized students for academic and life success, there must be a willingness by educators to understand who they are, and how to best VABB them, and facilitate their learning.  To find out more about CLR and VABBing, click here.


Lydia McClanahan has been an educator for over 20 years, and a secondary English teacher for most of them.  Her passion for reaching and teaching marginalized learners began early on in her career and for the last 15 years she has been deeply dedicated to her work as a consultant, lead teacher and mentor for cultural and linguistic responsiveness. During this time she has developed curriculum, conducted workshops, coached and trained 100’s of teachers with the  Center for Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning (CCRTL), where Dr. Sharroky Hollie is the founder and Executive Director .  It is through her work with Dr. Hollie and CCRTL that she began to focus on finding culturally authentic texts for educators and Responsive Reads was born. Responsive Reads grows many trees from one seed; illuminating diverse authors and culturally authentic texts, supporting  teachers working to be culturally responsive and validating/affirming the experiences of marginalized  students with authentic texts.